Cops: Texas Teen's Gang-Rape Story Was a Hoax

Police say scratches to her body were self-inflicted
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 23, 2017 12:16 PM CDT

(Newser) – A bloodied Breana Talbott stumbled into a Texas church on March 8, wearing only a T-shirt and underwear, claiming to have been kidnapped and gang-raped in nearby woods by three black men in ski masks, police say. Authorities in Denison now add that the 18-year-old's story was only an "insulting" hoax. While police say her claims "began to unravel" almost immediately—speculation was also rife on social media—Talbott herself admitted Tuesday that she staged a kidnapping scene, lied to police that she'd been held down and raped, left articles of clothing in a wooded area, and scratched her own body to make it appear as though she'd been assaulted, Chief Jay Burch says in a release.

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Talbott—initially reported missing by her fiance, who found personal items strewn around her car—was taken into custody Wednesday and charged with making a false report to police. She could face up to six months in jail and a $4,000 fine if convicted, reports the Herald Democrat. Burch says police will also "seek restitution for the significant costs for conducting such a major investigation" into a false crime, which he said was damaging to the community and "especially offensive to the African-American community." It was also likely offensive to the two in five women in Texas who are actual sexual assault victims, a rep for a local crisis center tells KXII, and damages the chances of them reporting an assault. (Cops say a teen's gang rape aired on Facebook Live.)

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